Cincinnati [US], August 20 (ANI): In a replay of the pulsating Wimbledon 2023 final, World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz will battle 23-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic for the Cincinnati Masters title.
The Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic overcame Alexander Zverev in the semifinal of the ongoing Masters competition on Saturday.
As per ATP, Djokovic beat Zverev 7-6(5), 7-5 in a baseline slugfest after which the 23-time Grand Slam winner will face World number one and current Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz in the final for the fourth time.
“In very few of [Sascha’s] service games where I had chances, I think I played well, particularly five-all [after] he broke my serve to stay in the match. I managed to bounce back, played a great game to break him again and seal the deal in the 12th game of the second set,” said Djokovic as quoted by ATP.
“I am pleased. I think there are a few things I could have done better, but overall it is a straight-sets win against a great player in form, so I am really happy,” he added.
In Djokovic and Zverev’s first meeting since the 2021 ATP Finals, both players played high-intensity tennis. The opening set was an entertaining affair with Zverev surviving a 10-minute service game at 4-5 and taking it to a tie-break, where the Djokovic was more consistent with his groundstokes.
After being broken in the second set while serving for the match at 5-4, the 94-time tour-level champion earned a break and closed out the match in two hours and four minutes. This improved his head-to-head record against Zverev by 8-4.
With this win, Djokovic moved into third place with 1,068 wins, tying with Rafael Nadal and Ivan Lendl, with Roger Federer (1,251) and Jimmy Connors (1,274). above him.
In the other last-four clash, top-seed Alcaraz survived a thriller against Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinal.
He won the match by 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 to reach his eighth final of the season.
Alcaraz saved a match point on serve at 4-5 in the second set, then won six straight points from 1/4 in the tie-break to force a third set.
Despite failing to convert any of his first ten break points, the 20-year-old remained focused, securing a crucial break in the fourth game of the third set and eventually winning the match after two hours and sixteen minutes.
“It was a mental semi-final, I had to stay there. I had a lot of breakpoints, it was really tough. Obviously saving a match point is never easy but with my coach, we were talking about staying positive all the time and to stay there. We knew I was going to have my chances and I tried to take it. Every match against Hubi is really, really tough but I’m really, really happy that I was able to win,” he said.
Alcaraz hit the ball with conviction to clinch his third Head2Head victory over Hurkacz, whom he also upset in the third round of the Toronto Open last week. The two-time major champion, who has won six straight three-setters, was aggressive on return, frequently grabbing Hurkacz’s second serve on the rise to pressure the 26-year-old.
“It has been a really tough tournament, all matches [have gone] three sets,” Alcaraz said.
“But I am really happy to win these kind of matches and stay strong mentally, these matches are really good for me. I grow up a lot thanks to these matches,” he concluded. (ANI)
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